PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Bob Michel Bridge will be looking a little different by the end of this year when a $24.6 million rehabilitation gets underway on Monday.

The eight-month closure will see a redesign, including a 14-foot-wide pedestrian and bicycle path separated from traffic lanes by a concrete barrier.

According to Chris Kaergard, an associate historian at the Dirksen Congressional Center, Congressman Michel helped “Build bridges between people and parties” so it’s only fitting that the bridge itself is named in his honor.

And Kaergard says traditional repairs on bridges fall within this 30-to-40-year time span.

“The ability to further expand on that vision they had when it was first being built I think is really fitting,” the historian says. “We can come back to that now and see in the documents what they were first talking about then and see it truly come to fruition.”

Residents should expect the bridge redesign to lead to smoother traffic, safer crossing, and Kaergard says they will be reminded it is a legacy project in honor of Bob Michel.